X is for Xenophobia – A to Z Challenge April 2015

Oh what a horrible thing Xenophobia! According to wikipedia,

Xenophobia is the unreasonable fear of what is perceived to be foreign or strange.

Even in our, now, very advanced and open mind-set, xenophobia still exists. People who move to a foreign country or even visit one can at times be confronted with it, and that is never fun and it can HURT a lot. Sometimes people get prejudged and filed away in a mental drawer upon their foreign looks and they are not form the place attributed to them…

When I was about 13 living in the U.S., a boy in my middle school called me a “Nazi”, that really hurt, because words can hurt. I was not /am not the type of person normally jumping up to defend myself, but that made me really mad, I recall sprinting after him to make him take it back.

When I left home to go to university, I was really proud of my international background. I was not confronted with xenophobia, but someone told me that I should be careful who I told that I was German, lived in France before coming to the UK and well not talk to much to certain people as I had an American accent (I lost that one really quickly once in England). Well, in the end, it never was a problem, I was generally appreciated the way I was.

Have you ever been a victim or witness of xenophobia? What did you do about it?

Written by Solveig Werner

9 thoughts on “X is for Xenophobia – A to Z Challenge April 2015

  1. When I was at school and only aged about 8, I was called ‘Chinky’ and ‘Wild Man of Borneo’ because of my looks – high cheek bones and dark complexion – actually it was Chilean blood but the other kids jumped to wrong conclusion. Later had a German girlfriend who had a hard time with some people because of the Nazi slur. And now with an election we have the xenophobia being stirred.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Xenophobia should not be stirred, it does not help anyone really…
      I guess people do not realise that the same could happen to them if they were somewhere else where they are not 100% normal.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My dear Solveig, this has hit a nerve, indeed! As a young child, living in Canada and attending primary school (1960-1965), I was bullied and harassed mercilessly because of my German heritage. Yes, “Nazi” was one of the taunts, as well as getting the “Heil Hitler” salute waved in my face, constantly! My mother and family suffered terribly during WWII in Germany and this upset me to the extent that I just withdrew into my own little world. Moving back to Germany in 1965 was a great relief to me. The result from all this childhood turmoil is that it toughened me up and gave me a “take no shit” attitude which is still with me. It also gave me an intolerance for prejudice and racism. Anyone who has been though this can likely relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think that it hurts children the most. I do not understand why especially children are judged for their country’s misbehaviour in the past. I do think it marks a lot of people with German roots.
      I really cannot understand the xenophobic movement and actions that happened in Germany recently…
      I am sorry that you had to suffer during your childhood.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is definitely unfortunate, luckily I have not been confronted with it too often. Sadly it is a phenomenon that is still quite common.


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